If there were ever a year when we took mental health into consideration above any other year, it would have to be 2020. The year began with the impeachment proceedings, a very tense State of the Union address, a pandemic, and racial injustices. Before we knew it, terms like “social distancing”, “quarantine”, and “lockdown” became everyday language. Many found themselves considered “nonessential”, spending more time in a month at home than they did in the last 5 years. Restrictions have varied across the country, but many found themselves isolated, afraid, exhausted, depressed, and a long list of other things. For those who have lost a loved one in the midst of this or as a result of COVID-19, all the aforementioned feelings were multiplied over and over. This year has taken its toll on people emotionally and mentally.
While very little of life changed for me in comparison to many others, the decrease in social life opened up things from the past, primarily hurts that were unresolved. Fears and anxieties arose. As we got deeper into the year, I found myself in a horrible rut that was wreaking havoc on my mental health. I knew it was time to recalibrate.
I wish I could say I have my recalibration plan fully developed. I don’t. But I do have some thoughts and steps I will take and am taking to make mental health a priority.
First, I plan to laugh more. My job affords me the opportunity of driving between patient’s homes. The drive time is often anywhere from 15-30 minutes between patients. Today, I searched for comedy on YouTube. I was surprised that my first results were clean. The search results led me to some great Christian comedy, especially Michael Jr. (a guy who was completely unfamiliar until today but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). I listened to well over an hour of good clean humor. The Bible does say that a merry heart does good like a medicine. A big dose won’t hurt.
Second, I plan to read more. Yesterday, I had two separate opportunities to read. Because I know God wants me to preach again, I want to be ready for the opportunities. So, I will study and be prepared. I want to be so full of God’s truth that it easily flows from me.
Third, I’m working on a plan to decrease social media time. While I do most everything from my phone, I want to spend more time writing here again and less time reading the toxic interactions that occur on social media platforms.
Fourth, I want to get out and walk more each week. On average, I walk two days a week. I would like to increase that to at least four days. Walking allows me to exercise and clear my head. The benefits are great.
Recalibrating is necessary for me to be a person who brings glory to God. My mind needs to be renewed. I can’t live like a broken record. It’s time for a change.
What about you? Do you need to recalibrate? If the answer is yes, you don’t have to wait until the new year. It can begin now. Don’t get stuck and become fruitless in your Christian life! Ask God to give you a recalibration plan, then step out and activate it. You won’t regret improvement.